Friday, May 13, 2011

Four elephants butchered in Kenya

Four elephants fitted with tracking devices have been killed on the slopes of Mount Kenya, with one dying only eight kilometres from where Prince William proposed to Katherine Middleton, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Conservation group Save The Elephants says it fitted seven elephants with tracking devices to monitor their movements but half have already been killed by suspected poachers.

The first death was reported in October, the same month that the royal couple travelled to Kenya for their now-legendary holiday stay.

Another elephant was shot in February while the other two were killed last month with one snared to death.

"We've uncovered a poaching crisis near Mount Kenya that we didn't know about before," the group’s founder Ian Douglas-Hamilton is quoted saying by the news agency.

According to the conservationists, poaching on the mountain started in 2009 and has steadily been on the rise.

Save The Elephants says the densely forested mountain slopes makes it difficult for game rangers to patrol it effectively, adding that more scouting and financial support was needed to protect the animals.

Illegal possession

Kenya has an estimated 30,000 elephants.

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